Easy Gluten-Free Baguettes

How to use Pamela's gluten-free bread mix for easy French style baguettes.
How to make a rustic, easy gluten-free baguette.

Why do you always crave the things you can't have? 

Is it because desire dims upon acquisition? Is it the crusty chestnut that the chase is more interesting than the catch? Do we simply take for granted the things we hold, the things we use, the things we eat, day after day? Familiarity breeds perhaps not contempt but a subtle numbness. We slowly turn off to the everyday beauty, the generosity of the simple luxuries in our life. It seems to me a form of forgetting. A spiritual amnesia that coaxes us into believing we want what we don't have. And we neglect to appreciate what we do possess.

Which brings me, I'm sorry to say, not to any esoteric mystery, but. To bread.
here's why. While I do - truly - appreciate (and have, for years) the convenience and kind-to-my-tummy nutrition that an organic brown rice cake offers me as a humble, gluten-impaired celiac, I frankly admit that it is difficult to conjure any semblance of passion, or for that matter, what I would describe as desire, for this go-to celiac snack food. Yes, these foamy chewy discs have saved my life on more than one occasion. Yes, I keep a bag of them in the car at all times. Just in case. And yes, I am grateful for their existence on this fragile planet.

But I have never daydreamed about rice cakes.

I have never painted Still Life with Rice Cake.

Or written a poem about one.

Though come to think of it, I have photographed a rice cake. In the car. With my iPhone.

It does sport a  certain beauty all it's own it. In its own quirky, ricey way.



But it's not a baguette. It's not a rustic, crusty, warm from the oven loaf of golden goodness. It doesn't go with wine. And it's not a good match with garlicky olive tapenade. So as much as my bruised and enlightened heart can embrace a rice cake and accept my gluten-free fate in a quasi-Zen go with the flow sorta way, there is a longing I have nurtured for the last eight gluten-free years. A deep, unfulfilled desire.

The truth is, Darling- I miss a long, slender, warm, fresh baguette.

Now don't get all Freudian on me. I'm still talking about bread here. And as far as bread goes, we gluten-free folks have much to appreciate. Even revel in. There's this recipe for delicious gluten-free bread. And this multigrain recipe with cornmeal kick to it. We're no longer as deprived as our earlier, last century celiac counterparts in the bread department. We can make cheese sandwiches.

But lately I've been dreaming of the continental culinary jewel known as the baguette. A mainstay in every student's romance repertoire (if you were an art student, especially; if you majored in accounting or football, the allure of a blanket, baguette, a bottle of wine and thou may not have blipped on your radar screen, and that's truly a shame and a deficit you ought to repair this very minute- go!). And not only dreaming. I've been actively craving an olive tapenade and the classic vehicle to smear it on.

So I experimented with what I had on hand- a bag of Pamela's Wheat-Free Gluten-Free Bread Mix. I could have mixed my own flours, it's true. But it was late in the day when the burning desire hit. And Yours Truly just wanted to whip up a pre-dinner rendezvous comestible.

To quench my unbridled yearning.



Gluten free French bread style baguettes with a crusty golden crust
Crusty gluten-free baguette's from Pamela's bread mix.

How to Make Easy Gluten-Free Baguettes from Pamela's Wheat-Free Bread Mix

Originally posted June 2006.

I like Pamela's because the mix contains sorghum flour and millet flour, which gives the bread a golden sweet, soft taste. So this isn't dry and plain like your average white rice flour baguette. It has character.

What you'll need:

A French bread pan or foil on a baking sheet
Parchment paper

Ingredients:

1 bag Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix with Yeast Packet
1 1/2 cups warm water at 115 degrees F
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water till frothy*

Instructions:

Warm the oven briefly by turning it on and off.

Line the bread loaf pans with parchment, or shape two pieces of foil into long baguette shaped "pan" and place on baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the (3 1/2 cups) bread mix with the yeast packet. Add the warm water and egg replacer. Beat for three minutes till smooth.

Divide the dough in half and scoop it onto the two French bread pans or foil on baking sheet. Using wet fingers, smooth and form the dough into long baguettes. Use a knife to cut the tops with three of four slashes.

Place the loaves into the warm oven and allow them to rise for one hour.

Heat the oven to 375ºF.

When the oven is up to temperature, set the timer and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or so, until the loaves are firm to the touch and crusty.If the outside is not crusty or the loaves feel too soft, do the option below- place them directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees F- for about ten minutes.

Options:

Near the end of baking time, brush the tops with plain rice milk to help them brown.

If you like a crusty loaf, remove the loaves from the pan at 25 minutes and bake them directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees F- until firm and crustylicious.
If you prefer using eggs, use two beaten free-range organic eggs instead of the egg replacer I used.


Cool before slicing with a sharp bread knife. If you can wait.

Use baguette slices as a base for bruschetta toppings and tapenade (see below for recipe). Or slice lengthwise for garlic bread.

Wrap and freeze the second loaf, if you're not going to eat the first day.

Makes two gluten-free baguettes.

Serve with this Olive Tapenade- so delicious.




xox Karina